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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ban Ki-moon urges governments to combat female genital mutilation

November 29, 2011
International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Alexandra George

United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon has called on governments around the world to fight violence against women, including female genital mutilation.  The official stated brutality experienced by the gender is a major barrier to equality and is usually committed by men.

As well as female genital mutilation, women are the subject of rape, abuse at work and school, sexual attacks at times of war and domestic violence - issues that Mr Ban's UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign was set up to fight in 2008.

"Our challenge is to ensure that the message of 'zero tolerance' is heard far and wide," he said on Friday (November 25th), which was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

He called on governments to "harness the energy, ideas and leadership of young people", who he argued are key to preventing continued brutality by driving a change in attitudes in newer generations.

"Only then will we have a more just, peaceful and equitable world," Mr Ban claimed.

Female genital mutilation is a widespread problem, which mapping company Maplecroft's latest Women's and Girls' Rights Index showed affects up to 90 per cent of individuals of this gender in some countries.

To read the full article on the FIGO website, click here